For children, setting up a routine of proper dental health can go a long way to being healthy all their life. While it's important for children to learn proper oral care at home, extra learning can be done in a classroom. Teachers have the ability to create an impact on children and there are plenty of ways to integrate dental health in the classroom.
The following six methods can be easily added to the regular curriculum and will teach children a lot about oral health.
One of the easiest ways to integrate dental health into the classroom is with different types of math. Word problems can easily have a dental health theme that teaches children and exposes them to health issues. For example, a word problem can involve the number of cavities a child has or the amount of dentist appointments a person goes to during the year.
Time-based problems are also easy to implement. One of the easiest ways to create these problems is with various brushing times. For example, a problem can focus on the total length of time someone brushes in a week if they brush twice a day and for two minutes each brushing.
Free math worksheets also offer extra problem solving and dental themes.
Animal Dental Science
Learning the differences between our teeth and other animal teeth can help have an understanding of how important dental care is. During science courses, you can teach about different animals, great sets of teeth, and how different teeth are used between predators or prey.
Adding interactive objects can give children can idea for the size and sharpness of various teeth. This includes shark teeth, small animal jaws, or fossilized teeth.
Teaming up with Dental Groups
Take dental health education to the next level by teaming up with a variety of dental groups. The children in your classroom can have special visitors come and talk about different dental health topics:
- Perio Protect: Periodontal disease is very common. A speaker can come to the classroom to teach children about different methods to stop the disease like perio protect. Different mouth care methods can be shown along with proper ways to floss.
- Dental Entertainers: A dental entertainer can turn the world of oral health into a day filled with songs, music, and puppets that teach children about proper mouth care.
Traditionally, classrooms usually have cupcakes or other treats for birthdays or holidays. Start a new classroom policy that encourages healthy eating. Give a list of healthy food options that would be good for birthdays. Classroom celebrations can also involve another treat that is not food like balloons, pencils, or small toys.
Sometimes it's just not enough to talk about brushing and flossing teeth. To help prevent periodontal disease and encourage healthy smiles, you can work with parents to set up a brushing chart. Children can have parents sign a reward calendar on a daily basis. Once the reward calendar is filled, children can receive a classroom reward like a small toy or a book. This is a good motivational tool that can help tie in to any oral health education.
Oral Health Poster Designs
Split the children in the classroom into groups of two. Through these groups, they will each create a poster design on oral health. Various topics include proper ways to floss, bad foods for your teeth, or ways to prevent gum diseases.
Children can get really creative and artistic with the designs. Along with drawing and coloring, magazine cutouts will help add to the post and create additional collages. Once the posters are completed, they can be hung up in the classroom so other children can read and learn from them.
Small activities can go a long way in a child's learning. Oral health and information on perio protect is important for so many reasons and bringing it to the classroom can make a huge difference.